Thanks for your response. Here is my reply to that:
First, I have not said that evolution is closer to
the truth. I said it was an evolution of truth and there is probably room
for improvement. I also said that believing in a creator is a step back.
But why should evidence
for evolution be evidence against a creator? Our creative
process involves evolution. How do you logically get from observing
change and adaptation in living organisms to a conclusion that a Creator
would not or could not exist?
You seem to confuse the theory of evolution with
atheism. This is not the case since many theists believe that evolution is
the way God created everything. And yes, atheists exists since a long
time, but I do not think they all used the theory of evolution to argument
that there is no god.
I know the difference and
agree that among evolutionists there are both theists and atheists. The
problem is that atheists have no choice but to use evolution as their
explanation for the origin of life, even though evolution is just a change
in living organisms and does not explain the spontaneous generation of
life from non-living matter, which has never been observed and was shown
by Pasteur to be false over 100 years ago. Atheism is religion, not
science, but its advocates sometimes present science incorrectly to give
an air of intellectual superiority in justifying their positions.
You point out that since I believe mankind came into
existence out of nothing, I should have no problem believing God came out
of nothing. Yes, a god might come out of nothing, by evolution, but it
would be more complex and therefore need more time to come into
existence. Mankind, compared to the universe, is quite young. From that
point of view, God does not exist yet and even more surely did not created
us. And if you have no problem believing in an ever-existing God (I know
you have not said that, but it's kind of implied) you should not have any
problem believing in an ever-existing universe.
I don’t see how you can come
to any conclusions about God based on the progress of only one intelligent
species (human beings) on only one planet in the entire universe. For all
we know, God exists outside the physical universe as we know it and
existed before it came into being. There is no basis in reason to
draw conclusions about all that may exist based on our very limited
experiences as a species.
You ask me to take a deep an honest look at my own
beliefs. Well, I did that already on many occasions. I have read about
many theories and learned about a lot of scientific facts. I do not
believe every one of them like: relativity, the model of the atom and the
nature of light for example. I would be ready to challenge them any time
and research for alternatives if I had the time to get involved in such
things. I also took the time to read about the Bible, as well as the Bible
itself. I learned about Judaism, Islam, Mormonism, Buddhism, Hinduism as
well as Christianity. I have even been a practicing Christian. Now, I
don't accept anything as true or false until I can judge it by myself. And
even when I accept something as true, there is still room for change.
I am sincerely glad that you
have studied both science and religion and have a mind that is open to
change. That is important for any of us to be able to grow. I will say
though that coming to faith in God is not just a matter of studying or
reasoning, but one of experiencing. I’m not saying you haven’t tried to
experience God’s presence and I can’t explain why some people experience
it and others do not, although pride can certainly be a barrier.
You accuse me of holding a belief based on "extreme"
chance. You accuse me of holding evolution as an absolute truth. Well I
don't! I think of it as the most plausible explanation yet. Yes, I have
faith that science will discover more and more about the origins of life:
I see more and more evidences that our collective intelligence is growing
day after day. You ask me if my beliefs are based purely on the scientific
method, well I have to answer: more and more as I let more of my
preconceptions behind. I made it a duty never to believe something I
haven't reasoned through.
No accusations were
intended, just observations based on what little I had in your first
e-mail. In your first letter and even in this letter you seem pretty
certain that God does not exist, leaving not many options other than
evolution, along with its remote odds of life having been formed by
chance. It’s good that you are applying critical thinking to your
beliefs, but not all knowledge can be obtained through reason.
I stumbled on your website trying to find information
about the "standard" human proportions for my drawings. I say "standard"
because we are not all on the same perfect proportions. After reviewing
more of this website, I decided to get my information elsewhere because I
came to the conclusion that information here was biased. Here is why:
My views on God are
admittedly biased, but the proportions are based solely on math, which you
can verify yourself.
I've read your arguments against evolution. Most of
them are easy to refute.
You only the address the
points on one page, which were intended just as observations about natural
selection. You have not addressed any of the real issues about evolution
which are presented in another section of the site on
The other side of common beliefs.
A key point to keep in mind too is that refuting beliefs side one by one
on either isn't as meaningful as stepping back and seeking an
understanding of where we really are in our own development as humans,
what is in our nature that causes us to have preconceptions, and what
others see that we do not.
You wrote: "you might expect: A single type of life,
if the probabilities of life forming are low."
Well there is a "if" in this statement. More and more
evidence let us think that life is not so unusual. The laws of physics and
chemistry make it quite easy for elements to assemble in the compounds of
life, more easy than thought at first. You go on saying that complementary
life forms are what we find instead. Which is quite natural, otherwise a
single life form without counter balance would not have survived. One of
the keys of evolution is the use of an unused resource and the
specialization in the use of that resource.
I would really love to see
any real evidence you have to back up your statement that “laws of physics
and chemistry make it quite easy for elements to assemble in the compounds
of life.” Our best attempts at creating the “compounds of life” produce
mostly tar and a few very basic amino acids, which is no more like life
than a few pieces of rock are like the pyramids of Egypt. Please see my
page on Genes.
You wrote: "you might expect: asexual reproduction"
Well asexual reproduction is still occurring today,
even within our own body. Our cells are dividing without the need for
sexuality. The reproduction system of fishes are nothing like ours and do
not require them to "mate". They represent an intermediary step to
sexuality as we humans know it. It is possible to imagine a species of
fish that could clone itself as well as externally "mate" as many
vegetables do. Also, bisexual species still exist today in both the animal
and vegetable world.
These are valid
observations. While it is possible, evolution also relies on survival of
the fittest, which to me would have made it more difficult for bisexual
organisms to compete and survive as such precise conditions are required
for their successful reproduction. I offer this as an observation, not a
You wrote (kind of): "you might expect life based on
both left-handed and right handed amino acids..."
And you give the answer right next: "For little known
reasons..." which means that some day, researchers will find an answer to
that. I think it is biased to say that: if there is no explication, then
it must be God. Actually, this is what happened in the early age of man
kind: they explained the unexplainable, like a solar eclipse, by the
existence of a god.
That researchers will
someday find a logical answer is purely an assumption on your part that
reflects just as much bias as my viewpoint. We both hold views that are
based on reason and both reflect our underlying experiences, beliefs,
biases and preconceptions. That is a critical point for anyone
exploring this issue to realize. It is not just a simple matter of reason
or evidence. Our underlying beliefs influence how we apply reason, how we
see the evidence, and how we come to our conclusions. If it is wrong to
assume without proof that God is a cause, then it is just as wrong to
assume without proof that God is not a cause. We have to be open to all
You wrote: "you might expect: Highly specialized
behaviors and complex physical adaptations evolving only once."
This is just a gratuitous affirmation. There is no
reason that what works best for a species cannot work, simultaneously, for
another. You take for example the flight patterns of birds and bats, but
forget about the flying squirrels, the intermediary step. You also do not
mention that fishes have a sideways swimming stroke and sea mammals have
an up-down swimming stroke. Although the two strokes are similar, they
can clearly come from two different paths of evolution.
I agree that there’s no
reason that an adaptation cannot work in more than one circumstance.
Still, one would expect that the more complex adaptations would take more
time to evolve, so seeing them appear repeatedly is not necessarily what
one would expect, particularly when some creatures that rely entirely on a
particular adaptation to survive (say sonar in bats and dolphins) could
not have survived with it being anything less than perfect in its
development and function.
You wrote: "you might expect: Mutations adding
genetic information, creating new and advantageous characteristics."
Implying it is false.
Well, this happened to the potato in the 1700 or
1800: it evolved an antibiotic against a virus that was attacking its
roots for decades making it incomestible. Of course, more "radical
mutations" are bad than good, there is more ways to go wrong than right.
You show there the photo of a frog with a missing leg. I don't think that
a 5th would have been better either. I think also that human
characteristics are mutating slowly: like height, endurance to sunlight or
pollution. There is also a supporting theory to evolution that our DNA is
programmed by the changes a single being is doing, like the increased use
of our brain makes the brain of our child more adaptable to technologies
than we were.
Again the point is not that
it never happens, but that if all the complexity and diversity of life is
based on mutations then one would expect to see far more favorable
adaptations happening now than we presently observe. We should see good,
solid examples happening all the time and not have to rely on an examples
of potatoes from 300 years ago.
You wrote: "you might expect: Many plants and animals
in various "incomplete" or transitional states of evolution."
Just take a look at us: we have a useless muscle
attached at both ends to the same bone in the leg, we have among us a
varying number of lower vertebrae, and we are still adapting to our
standing stance. This is why we have so many backaches and problems with
our knees. Studies of mummies seem to indicate that these problems were
even more pronounced 4000 years ago. We also have these "wisdom teeth"
that bother so many adults because they don't have enough room to grow in
the jaw. Well how about that perfect human creation?
Past history has shown that
many things that we consider “useless,” the appendix for instance, reflect
a lack of human understanding more than a lack of purpose. You’ve
provided some good illustrations of imperfections in humans, but these
would not keep us from surviving. Also in looking at our
imperfections, we have to separate the issues of aging and improper care
from bad design. The point was that there’s a long path of evolution
from say a leg to a wing, and during that path it would seem that the
appendage wouldn’t be much good as either, which could be a disadvantage,
which raises the question of how the evolving animal competed to survive.
You wrote: "you might expect: Non-living matter
organizing into higher states of energy and complexity."
Well actually this happens quite a lot. In the stars!
Stars are the generators of complex materials. They are making out of
simple hydrogen a more complex element: iron! Yes, stars make iron by
sequentially fusing the matter they're made of. They explode in super
novas when they "attempt" to fuse their iron, thus projecting through the
universe the "evolved" elements which are more complex arrangements of
protons and electrons. So when you say that "what we find instead is:
Non-living matter settling into lower states of energy and more
randomness" is COMPLETELY FALSE!
Since increased randomness
or entropy and dispersion of energy embodied in the second law of
thermodynamics, this cannot be completely false. You talk of stars
“attempting” to create other elements as if they’re alive with purpose.
As I see it, they’re just responding to the laws of gravity and nuclear
forces. This is entirely different than the types of structures we see in
living organisms. Snowflakes are complex structures, but they develop
just on the properties of water as it crystallizes. We don’t see examples
in non-living material of complex systems developing beyond the basic
gravitational or nuclear forces, yet we do in living organisms, so how did
living organisms come into being in the first place?
Just looking at all the golden number relations you
are throwing was enough to make me doubt about the complete veracity of
these facts. Numbers are quite easy to manipulate...
And also quite easy to
verify. It is human nature, however, to reject material we find in
conflict with our beliefs. I do the same thing, but it doesn't lead
us closer to the truth.
If you read Greek mythologies, you will without a
doubt classify it as just a bunch of old myths. You will do the same with
the Vedas, the sacred books of Hinduism. You will find in these stories
nothing but fantasies trying to explain what people were experiencing at
the time to the best of their limited knowledge. If you learn about Joseph
Smith, founder of the Mormon church, you will certainly come to the
conclusion that his claims to the truth are completely unfounded and
probably will be shocked to realize that many people are following this
Similarly, I suspect that
mankind will look back on our science of the 20th century and see that
many of the explanations we had for life were also nothing but fantasies
that were at the time the best of our limited knowledge. Do you think
that people of 2000 years ago were any less sure of their explanations
than we are of our today? That’s one of the main points of my site –
to get people to see that we have to be either naïve or arrogant to assume
that we’ve really explained the origins of life and can thus make
conclusions about God based on this “knowledge.” There is still so much
to learn and we need to look at things from a much greater perspective to
not repeat the mistakes of the past.
I can't disprove the existence of God. I can't go
everywhere in the universe to confirm that He is nowhere to be found. But
what I can do is realise that I do not see Him around here nor do I see
I don’t think you need to
leave Earth to see evidence of God. You say you do not see His actions,
yet if we look back through history we see countless people whose lives
have been changed by a force that they can only explain by the existence
and presence of God, including mine. We also live in a universe that we
really cannot yet explain as completely “natural” and even if our beliefs
lead us to that conclusion, we should still be asking how it happened that
a universe appeared from nothing that is so finely tuned to the formation
of life; and not just life, but intelligent life that is drawn to seek
God, even in this age of naturalism, humanism and technology. I know you
are sincere in your beliefs and have obviously put much time and thought
into this pursuit. You’ve studied science and all the major religions and
that is good. Still it leaves me with the impression of someone who says
they have studied many books on love, but has never been in love and
therefore must conclude that love does not exist, when people all around
the world testify to its existence and the impact it has had on their
lives. I pray that God will someday touch your life in a way that will
let you know that there is no other possibility for what you have
experienced that to know by reason and faith that He exists.
I assume you will be replying to this. If you do, I
will read it. But I will not reply to it. Otherwise, we'll be arguing for
the rest of our lives. I'm grateful you posted my letter on your site. I
can only hope that this exchange of ideas will help others to make their
own decisions. Thus it gives me a chance to make a difference. Thanks to
Yes, sometimes our life
experiences and views are so different that we have to agree to disagree,
but hopefully the exchange helps us to grow, and, by sharing it, helps
others to grow as well. Thank you very much for your thoughts and